Inspired by a brief comment converstaion found here.
I would like to investigate the design and development of an alien species whose technological development did not include an understanding of light. Let us assume that the species is entirely blind, and only has the capacity to interact with their surroundings through other senses: sound, smell, pressure, thermal, taste, etc.
For them, they would never "see" light and would (ostensibly) develop without an interest in light. There would never be a moment when they look up and see stars and be inspired by the idea, "what's out there?" However, through audial experiments they could develop the idea that "there's nothing above me that I can detect... I wonder what's up there?"
They would also not devleop visually-oriented writing, but would need to rely on audio or braille for recording knowledge. I'm willing to accept without proof the idea that they can achieve our own skills in handwriting in ways that do not require eyesight.
Remember, though, no dependency on light. No development of radar, radio, light bulbs, microwave ovens, etc.
The goal is to land on their moon. Please assume similar challenges to NASA in the early 60s.
My goal is to establish a plausible explanation for how an alien species could attain space flight without a comprehension of light.
Question: Is it possible for a species (in this case blind) to develop the technology necessary to land on their own moon without a comprehension of light?
How I'll judge the best answer
"It's impossible" is a legitimate answer, but it must be backed up with a lot more than a sentence or two of reasoning demonstrating why a moon shot is impossible without an understanding of light. You can't just claim it (no lazy answers, please!) you need to demonstrate how an understanding of light is unavoidable.
If it can be done, an answer must have at least three examples of how interrelated technology could be accomplished without an understanding of light. For example: how to achieve the same process of doping semiconductors without the use of optical photolithography.
If it can be done, an answer must consider all the major components of basic spaceflight: control, propulsion, life support, data aquisition (tough), and communication (very tough).
I am willing to allow any design of the aliens so long as (a) they are utterly incapable of naturally detecting light and (b) they are not godlike. My voice can't carry to the moon, neither can an alien's telepathy. The alien characteristics you're depending on to circumvent the need for technological enhancements must be reasonably believable as a fact of natural adaptation/evolution and not simply a superpowered band-aid.
Finally: A reminder about what "Primarily Opinion-Based" (POB) means at Worldbuilding.SE
Stack exchange defines POB as:
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.
Regrettably, we can't change this text, but if you believe in it, then no question about magic can be asked because no answerer has facts, references, or specific expertise to draw from. Consequently, here at WB.SE we've had to reverse the meaning.
POB means the OP is responsible for providing enough information to reasonably judge which answer will be best. The OP cannot select a best answer simply as a matter of the OP's opinion. Thus, if the OP provides background about his/her magic system such that answers can be judged against it, then it is inappropriate to close the question as POB.
Given this explanation, if you believe my conditions for the best answer are insufficient to judge which answer is best, please let me know and I will further scope the question. After all, we're here to have fun with fiction, right?